Hot Morrow, Stars host Oilers
By ANTHONY GIORNALISTA,
STATS Senior Writer
Brenden Morrow can’t be blamed for the Dallas Stars’ inconsistent
performances offensively over the last two weeks. He certainly deserves
much of the credit for their past success against the Edmonton Oilers.
Morrow, who has goals in a career-best five straight contests, leads
the Stars as they try to extend a five-game home winning streak against
the Oilers on Saturday.
Dallas (13-8-7) has
scored two goals or fewer in three of its last six games, but Morrow
had a point in each contest (five goals, one assist). He continued his
goal-scoring run with an empty-netter in the Stars’ 3-1 win over
Anaheim on Thursday night.
A matchup with
Edmonton (11-13-4) may give Morrow a good opportunity to continue his
success. The Stars have earned points in the last nine games Morrow has
played versus the Oilers, going 8-0-1, and the veteran left wing has
four goals and three assists in his last three games against them.
Dallas is averaging 4.2 goals in five straight home wins over Edmonton
since a 2-0 loss Dec. 8, 2006. In the teams’ first meeting this season,
the Stars lost 5-4 in a shootout on the road Oct. 6.
Stars left wing James Neal had a goal in the second period of that
contest, but missed in the tiebreaker. He had gone five games without a
point before scoring Thursday.
start getting frustrated, that’s when you screw up your play,” said
Neal, whose 12 goals tie him with Morrow for the team lead. “You’ve got
to stay positive and things will work their way out.”
Neal and Steve Ott had goals 71 seconds apart early in the third. Ott was held off the scoresheet in his previous 13 games.
Ott has three goals in 22 games after scoring a career-high 19 in 64 contests last season.
“The fear is when you’re pressing for a goal, you try to do things
individually and take some chances,” Stars coach Marc Crawford said.
Edmonton’s Patrick O’Sullivan has struggled offensively this season,
but he scored twice in the second period of a 4-1 win over Detroit on
O’Sullivan had one goal and no assists in his previous eight games.
“This, hopefully, will help him,” Oilers coach Pat Quinn said. “He’s
fighting the confidence and has been a guesser when he has the puck.
It’s not good when you’re a guesser out there.”
Lubomir Visnovsky and Robert Nilsson also scored for Edmonton, which
bounced back from a 7-3 loss at Vancouver on Saturday in the opener of
a six-game road trip.
The Oilers were
without center Mike Comrie (mononucleosis) for the seventh straight
game Thursday, but Nilsson returned after missing 10 due to a
Nilsson, the 15th pick in the
2003 draft, has been an underachiever but will be counted on to help
Edmonton overcome its many injuries. He made a nice move to pick up his
second goal of the season, putting the puck between a defenseman’s legs
at the bottom of the left circle and eluding another Red Wing before
his shot went into the net.
“When he gets in that spot, he’s got the skill. That’s not the question,” Quinn said. “The thing is getting to that spot.”
Received 12/04/09 02:07 pm ET